We were all laughing and couldn’t stop smiling. My aunt had Jason Momoa in the background of her screen.
Then my little cousin changed her own background to her favorite boy band, BTS. The rest of us started to hear an echo as next to her, my aunt and uncle were also logged into the “meeting” on their own computer.
She eventually muted her laptop and joined her parents (my aunt and uncle) on their computer and thus the rest of us just saw BTS alone on the screen.
It was time to get this meeting AKA party started. But first, the birthday girl changed her background to her idol, Taylor Swift.
Now we were all ready!
We were celebrating my cousin Marissa’s birthday last Friday — all together, spanning three time zones. From Hawaii to the entire West Coast to Florida, my family sang “Happy Birthday” to Marissa through our computer and cell phone mics.
Does happy birthday sound better in person or over an Internet connection? I’m not sure, but I couldn’t stop laughing.
Bryce and I introduced Jackbox* to my family members. As we played the first game that is made up of drawing and guessing (and trying to trick others to win more points), my mom asked in between one of the rounds how we found out about these games.
We explained that these were games that we used to play with our friends pre-coronavirus days. Yes, we played together at someone’s house in person! It didn’t really make sense to my mom since we were successfully playing the games together from different locations with the power of technology.
It’s a really neat concept. Each player just “joins” the game from their own phone and we used a Zoom meeting to share the main game screen and see each other’s faces.
The two hours flew by as we played multiple rounds of three different Jackbox games. By this point, my mom had fallen asleep on the couch, all we could see was the Golden Gate Bridge in the background of her screen.
After the eight different households logged off and the party was over, Marissa texted that “this was the best birthday ever! Thank you!”
I joked that next year we would all probably forget about her birthday.
Earlier in the evening, my parents drove to her apartment and dropped off a home-cooked Japanese meal for her to eat for her birthday dinner. Bryce and I also drove (separately from my parents) and timed it to be there at the same time to drop off her birthday gift and a chocolate cake that I baked**. Don’t worry, we all stood six feet apart. My dad and Bryce, who were the drivers, stayed in the cars and waved from afar.
We all wanted to make sure and go as big as we could for a quarantined birthday.
I’d say it was a success.
My family will probably need to get everyone together for another virtual game night again soon since it was so fun and easy to facilitate. We usually only all get together once a year during Christmas time, if even, so it was a nice “bonus” to all be together having fun in the middle of spring — even if it was virtually.
If anyone needs a virtual party planner, I have now organized and hosted one successful party. You know where to find me!
**I am not affiliated by Jackbox Games. This is not a sponsorship. Just someone who likes playing their games with her friends and family.
**More time at home has turned me into some sort of baker! I never used to bake!